|photo by byronv2 on flickr|
Once upon a time the United States Golf Association held a secret magic formula. Taking a person's last twenty scores and, after trimming down any catastrophe holes, throwing out the bad outlier rounds, and factoring in the difficulty of the courses played, the formula would spit out a number that, better than any other single metric, reflects that person's current ability to play golf. Far from a scoring average, it's a more nuanced data point that manages to reflect the hard reality of What's Going On on the course lately, while also providing some approximation of your so-called potential--a prickly concept to try and measure mathematically if ever there was. Yet somehow golf handicapping actually works.